nuojuva Valot Kaukaa (CD, £13.95)label: Preservation
Preservation's first release of 2012 is a new full length record from Nuojuva (formerly Ous Mal) featuring Rachel Evans (Motion Sickness Of Time Travel) and Sophie Hutchings. Valot kaukaa is the first work for Finnish producer Olli Aarni under his new alias. As Ous Mal, Aarni's 2010 debut album, Nuojuva Halava took the early promise of his CD-R releases into a beautiful realisation of a unique sound that evoked both a curious nostalgia and a sense of future pathways, combining classical overtures, narcotic beats and warm atmospherics into blissful song. Aarni's beguiling vision holds sparer focus on Valot kaukaa (the title roughly translates as 'lights from far away') for a more overtly ambient space filled with delicate instrumentation - including cello, piano, flute and violin - as well as a new interest in the possibilities of voice. Spacey and intimate with wintry and autumnal shades, its whispered melodies and open drift making for an heightened state still somehow grounded in downhome feeling. The gliding vocal textures of Rachel Evans - aka Motion Sickness of Time Travel as well as one half of duo Quiet Evenings - is a recurring highlight, while Sophie Hutchings' dazzling, rolling piano propels Laakso into a wonderful orbit. Honing a special path explored on Nuojuva Halava, Valot kaukaa feels like one long, suspended, beautiful moment.
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